The struggle for abortion right is a class struggle!

The struggle for abortion right is a class struggle!

October 27 marks the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 abortion law in the UK. Under this law, women can end their pregnancies with some "conditions and regulations" if: the pregnancy has not exceeded 24 weeks, 2 registered doctors with " good faith" have confirmed that the continuation of pregnancy could endanger woman’s life or the fetus would suffer from serious abnormalities, and were only done by medical practitioner in registered clinics.

But at the same time, according to Articles 58 and 59 of the "offences against Persons" Act 1861, the act of abortion is still a criminal offence and is therefore punishable. Any woman, considers to end her pregnancy without implementing the conditions of the 1967 law, or anyone helps such a woman, have committed crime and can be punished to life sentence.

In Ireland women don’t even have this! Catholic Church has a major role in different aspects of culture, education, legislation and moral codification and has officially announced disagreement over any liberalization of abortion law. At this point in Europe, proud of its democracy and human right, abortion is not only crime but a taboo. Even if woman’s life is in danger, it is not easy to do abortion.

In Britain, the number of anti-abortion protests is rising. Individuals and groups specially organized by religious organizations are protesting outside clinics in an attempt to influence women and people and affect them by sense of fear, regret, shame and "Guilt".

Recently, British newspapers wrote that a group of gynecologists, particularly the British medical Association, called on parliamentarians, to decriminalize abortion and classify it as medical than as criminal. In these requests, the "legal abortion until 24 weeks" restriction has not been challenged.

Whatever the purpose, these requests would benefit women. But firstly, abortion is not a medical issue as a "disease," for which women should or should not consult with doctors. Having the right to control fertility (whether contraception or abortion) is a central issue for women's emancipation. Are women finally able to free their bodies from being appropriated, and control their own reproductive ability under any circumstances? Secondly, we have to be realistic about how optimistic these changes and their orientation can be, if they happen. Changes that not only is without women's awareness and leadership of the women's liberation movements, or based on arguments and orientation focused specifically on the issue of patriarchal control and ownership of woman's body by class society, but is mainly relying on doctors' discretion, lobbying with the British capitalist government; and are supposed to take place in a situation where women's rights in general are going backward. 

The anti-abortion movement is, in its nature, heavily influenced by fundamentalist religious beliefs, but attempts to give its backward and reactionary arguments a scientific or human rights sense. They say, "The fetus is not part of the woman’s body, is alive and separate ‘’person’’, with complete biological characteristics of human being and has the right to live. Anything that destroys it (at any stage) actually kills a ‘’person’’, and the deliberate destruction of any human life is ‘’ethically’’ wrong."

Let's take a look at their ideological foundation. In the logic and ethics of religious books, such as Bible or Quran, the inferior role and position of women is considered to be the eternal, according to the wisdom and the natural order of affairs by the ‘’Creator of Beings’’. In these texts, "the creator of beings", clearly says: "Women are a place for men to reproduce ...are for the comfort of men and in a subordinate position to them ... Men are the master, the head of the family and should control women... women must obey their husbands...". Therefore, women are supposed to be the property and in control of men, and their job are to serve men and bring them children. This story has taken place at a time in history in which slavery and patriarchy have been customary "ethics" accepted in those societies. The era when women, along with slaves and children, actually became property of men. Woman's sexuality was strongly controlled to ensure that the children belong to only one man, so that his wealth can be inherited and preserved. Later on religion perpetuated these social relations and cultures including woman's existence and role and gave them a divine and ideological form. Women’s pregnancy became a gift from God and his decision to create a new human being that he merely has put them in woman's womb!

It is now those moralities that are being imposed on us. It means women's enslavement by oppressive patriarchal class domination. Unfortunately, not believing to or even opposing religion, or class society, does not automatically guarantee that people don’t have patriarchal, backward, dogmatic and non-scientific ideas in life and social affairs towards women. Religion and its related traditions and thoughts, and the relations emerged from the culture of the class society; have been woven into fabric of our society for centuries and shaped our minds. We are actually producing and re-producing these thoughts because we are still living in oppressive and exploitative patriarchal society.

There is no government in the world at present that does not interfere with this to restrict women. With the formation of capitalism, a new gender and power relation between men and women emerged in line with the necessity of "production and control of the labor force" where the oppression of women and the "role of women as reproducers" are much more systematic and organized than past male-dominated class systems, centered on the control of women and her uterus. On the other hand, religion has always served capitalism and is tied up in its texture. These are all decisive for capitalist governments, including the British imperialist government. About 500 years have passed since the bourgeois revolution, but women have not yet been able to exercise the right to consciously control their bodies. This is not because the capitalist ideologues have not yet clear understanding of this issue! Women’s rights, including abortion that have been legalized at some level, only is due to the women’s struggle itself and capitalism compulsion and policies under certain circumstances. But since this system fundamentally needs the subordinate role of woman and her controlled body, the state's efforts at the same time is to ideologically divert the course of these struggles. It works very insidious. Either sets conditions for it in the name of "human rights", or propagates arguments that in fact separate the essence of women's emancipatory struggle to control their body and their biological activities from the ego and the purpose of the struggle, in order to preserve an atmosphere in which it would eventually be able to maintain the idea of ​​ownership over woman and her body and ultimately human being, and the subordinate role of women. The state policies, through media and propaganda, cultural and entertainment programs; shape public opinion in society and ultimately produce and maintain violence against women and their traditional and subordinate role.

Every woman as human being with obvious right to her body and life, must be able to decide on whatever is growing in her body and make changes to it, whether or not it is part of her body, is live or not, is a gland or a germ, named a fetus or a human being. If women’s biology has such capability that men do not have and if science has not yet been able to solve the problem of reproduction and remove its burden from women’s shoulder; it does not automatically impose any duty on women to be responsible for  reproduction of humankind let alone to be forced to do it. This is a solid core of understanding women's rights over their bodies.

Abortion is not a tragedy and shame. A shameful tragedy is when a woman can’t control her body and fertility. When she does not have such basic freedom, she is in fact a slave.  As simple as that. Slavery is when a person due to biological character or ability -and just for this, can become profitable in a patriarchal class society based on private appropriation, and is controlled and owned by it. They don’t have to shout it out directly, as we are living in a modern slavery!

Therefore, we must be able to organize a struggle in which, we have a clear boundary in relation to the nature and purpose of our struggle. The struggle for the right of abortion is a class struggle and must be in this light so that it can eradicate not only old ideas of appropriation but also traditional beliefs inspired by religion and institutionalized ignorance over the centuries. The most important work on this path is to fight the ideology and thinking that re-establishes this situation, benefits from it, and shapes public opinion so deeply that some don’t even realized being influenced by it. The anti-abortion movements and groups are ultimately, knowingly or unknowingly, involved in an ideological battle. The battle between the ideology of superstition and slavery, and the science of women and human emancipation from any type of oppression and exploitation, from the clutches of state, religion, and patriarchy.

History has proved that advanced social changes can only be possible when a progressive movement is behind it. The achievements of women's struggles in 60s and 70s were due to the conscious leadership of the women's movement. Only by relying on women's revolutionary movements with a liberating strategy, engaging people and at the forefront women, in social struggles, to challenge and raise their thoughts, we can expect a radical achievement towards women's liberation.

8 march women’s organisation (Iran- Afghanistan)-UK

October 2017